Barro Del Colorado Island

José Calvo, Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 08 Feb 2020

Barro Del Colorado Island, 2/8/2020, National Geographic Quest

  • Aboard the National Geographic Quest
  • Costa Rica, Panama & Colombia

Today we awoke halfway through the Panama Canal, in front of an island, a man-made one created when the United States flooded this area to create the waterway for the canal. The island is better known as “BCI” which stands for Barro Colorado Island. In Spanish that translates to Red Mud Island for its type of clay colored soil.

BCI is not only the largest island on the Panama Canal but it is home to one of the most studied tropical rainforests in the world. Research goes back even before the construction of the canal and it’s been managed by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute since 1923.


National Geographic Quest is one of the few ships allowed to stop here during her transit through the canal. And guests aboard have the rare opportunity to visit BCI to learn about the research, explore by forest trail, and enjoy a shoreside excursion by Zodiac.

After our morning on BCI, a local canal pilot boarded National Geographic Quest to finish our cruising of the Panama Canal, one of the engineering marvels of the world. We look forward to the adventures we'll find tomorrow.

Click View Gallery above to see some of the natural wonders inside the rainforest.

Previous Article

Drake Passage, Beagle Channel, Ushuaia

Next Article

Boca de la Soledad | Hull Canal | Sand Dollar Beach

Costa Rica and the Panama Canal


Sign Up for Daily Expedition Reports

Fields with an asterisk (*) are required.

Enter travel details to receive reports from a single expedition

Send Daily Expedition Reports to friends and family

*By clicking the submit button, I authorize Lindblad Expeditions to email me; however, I am able to unsubscribe at any time. For more details, see our Privacy Policy.

Please note: All Daily Expedition Reports (DERs) are posted Monday-Friday, during normal business hours. DERs are written onboard the ship only and do not apply to land-based portions of expeditions.